Release Date: October 31st, 2014
Genre(s): YA Fantasy
*Book two of a series*
Plagued by guilt, Roman makes a decision that alters both their fates and as Bryn fights for her life in a German hospital, Roman must fight for her forgiveness before it’s too late. Because Roman and Bryn weren’t the only things to wake out of Bryn’s dreams. The shadows seem to be hunting them both and a strange side effect of Roman’s miraculous recovery may be the only means of stopping them. That is, if he can reach Bryn before she slips too deeply into the very dreams that seem to be imposing more and more on their waking lives every day.
*Thank you so much to the author for sending me a copy of this book! **
The thing that carried this book were the characters. OMG THE GROWTH OF THESE CHARACTERS <3. I was actually a little bit wary about the whole separation thing ("I need to protect her etc etc") because that seemed a little cliche, but I ended up LOVING it. The separation honestly helped them to grow. We get to see these characters (esp. Roman, who had immense character development yay!) independent of one another (which we hadn't really seen before), and because of that, we also get to see different sides of them. It was the little things, like the emotions of the characters or Roman's adjustment and his past, that truly made this book. And I loved how we get to see these characters in such a realistic setting, because despite it being a fantasy, it reminds us these characters are human too. In fact, I sort of felt the first half of this book was like a contemporary novel, rather than fantasy- and even without the fantasy aspect, I thought this series as a whole could stand pretty well (more on that later). Can I just say how I LOVED that this book didn't have disappearing parent syndrome? It was nice to see the relationship between father and son (complex because of the past, but also mending), and mother and daughter. Again, these are the little things that I really loved about the book.
Now the plot, I was a little iffy on. As a whole, I thought the plot was pretty good. It was fast-paced (maybe a little bit too fast?), and it was really unique (an Olive Oyl in a sea of Betty Boops? Can't remember where I read that from, but I love Olive Oyl xD ). However, I started getting lost at some parts (esp. towards the end), and there were a couple of places where I thought the logic leaped a little too soon. I think this had to do with how there was so much action crammed into one book (with revelations shooting up especially towards the end of the book). If you even skim a little bit of the book, you'll get lost. I didn't, and I still was a little lost by the end (which hints at a third book??? :D). But even with the confusing bits, it was still enjoyable because a) once you start piecing it together, it's like WHOA ^0^ and b) the writing was REALLY strong. There were a few places where I thought the writing was a little awkward, but as a whole, I really loved the writing; at some parts, it gave me chills.
I thought the world building was lacking, though, and there was an info dump in the book (which was where I mostly thought the logic was shaky). I mean, I was happy that my questions were answered (because the build-up to the actually revelations was SO GOOD), but at the same time, I didn't like how the information about the Dreamers and such were just handed to us like that. Also, there was a TON of cursing in this book. Whenever it was Roman's point of view, the F word was used A LOT- and I think that's the only curse word used. I personally do not like cursing, and I honestly thought that that wasn't necessary.
If you take out the fantasy parts, this book would have made a great contemporary novel. I thought the fantasy bits were sort of a background thing in the first book, and, for the most part, this book as well. What really shined through were the characters, their growth, and their relationships. The fantasy aspect didn't really start kicking until the middle half of the book (which I think contributed to the info dump), and it just made me a little confused.
But overall, it was a nice read, especially because of the characters. Can't for the next book!! ;)
(And can I just say I thought it was so cute how Roman marked his toes? ;) )
Rating: 3.5 out of 5